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Dec 31, 2010

Video : Jump before you are pushed, Chappell tells Ponting

"I think he should be given the opportunity to defend the World Cup as a captain, but I just hope he makes the decision himself. I'd hate to see Ricky Ponting get pushed, I'd rather see him jump than be pushed. So, I hope he makes the decision and preferably he makes it himself, but if he doesn't I hope that Cricket Australia suggest to him that it might be better if you went of your own volition, rather than us having to push you."

Dec 30, 2010

All eyes on the big one

They didn't have many opportunities in Test cricket but in 2010 Sri Lanka shaped up nicely for the World Cup 

For a year that included three tri-series titles, a first-ever one-day series victory in Australia, and a respectable showing in the World Twenty20, there was a strangely flat feeling about Sri Lanka's performances in 2010. The main reason is the lopsided FTP, which hasn't provided enough Test cricket - there were no away Tests this year for Kumar Sangakkara's men. Of their two home series, one was a result of the BCCI's new-found love of the long form, and the other was the rain-ravaged contest against West Indies, during which more time was spent watching the weather forecast than the cricket. 

In the Test cricket that was on offer, they were patchy. Their first five-day game came as late as July and was dominated by the retirement of their talisman, Muttiah Muralitharan. Fittingly Sri Lanka's greatest match-winner won them one last game before bowing out. It turned out to be their only Test victory of the year. That series against India ended in a draw as Sri Lanka lost the P Sara Test despite Thilan Samaraweera's best efforts. The matches against West Indies could have been a good indicator of how Sri Lanka will fare in the absence of Murali, but torrential rain through the series frustrated fans. 

The supporters won't be complaining about Sri Lanka's one-day form, though. Winning every series they played in 2010, barring the Asia Cup, where they dominated the league stage before faltering in the final, Sri Lanka enter the World Cup year as a formidable outfit. Their tri-series triumphs may be quickly forgotten but what will remain in the memory is the back-from-the-dead victory against Australia in Melbourne, where Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga produced a world-record 132-run ninth-wicket stand to deliver an improbable win. 

What has made Sri Lanka so dangerous is that they aren't over-reliant on one or two stars; match-winning performances have come from a number of players. Few people will be able to guess who their highest wicket-taker of the year is - 21-year-old allrounder Thisara Perera. Another young allrounder, Mathews, continued to show he has the talent and temperament for a long international career at the top, while offspinner Suraj Randiv has also made a bright start. 

The new talent supports the big names who were part of Sri Lanka's run to the 2007 World Cup final. Tillakaratne Dilshan didn't quite hit the heights of 2009 but made match-winning centuries in the finals of two tri-series, Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara remain prolific, Malinga continues to befuddle batsmen, and Murali is still around for a final tilt. 

In the only global tournament of the year, the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, Sri Lanka again made it to the knockout stages before losing to the eventual champions. This time Sangakkara's side ran into England, who turned in a supremely composed performance to knock Sri Lanka out in the semi-finals.

Fading star

Perhaps the most pathetic sight of the World Twenty20 was that of 40-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya, once an unstoppable marauder, scratching around for 15 runs in six innings. He hasn't played international cricket since, but remains hopeful of making next year's World Cup after finding a place in the 30-man provisional squad. 

New kid on the block

With Murali's career nearly over, and Mendis' star still struggling to reclaim the lustre of 2008, Sri Lanka slow-bowling options were looking thin. Suraj Randiv stepped up. He lacks extravagant turn but his extra bounce and discipline soon made him the first-choice spinner across all formats. In an eventful year, he was at the forefront of Sri Lanka's push for a series win over India at the P Sara Oval, involved in a controversy over a deliberate no-ball, and was electric throughout in the field. 

High point

There was a maiden one-day series win in Australia, but the uplifting farewell to Murali in Galle was a heart-warmer in a year in which the game was awash with dispiriting headlines. It was sweetened by the win set up by Murali's eight wickets, the last of which carried him to the milestone of 800. 

Low point

Surrendering to a weakened India in a deciding Test will hurt, though losing to the world's top side isn't as disappointing as having virtually the entire series against West Indies washed out - in a year when Sri Lanka were starved of Test cricket. Sangakkara called it the "worst series of his life". 

What 2011 holds

Sri Lanka have two big-ticket events in the first half of the year: first, the World Cup at home, for which they among the favourites, and then the challenge of a full tour of England, which will test how far Sri Lanka have progressed as a Test side. 

Source - Cricinfo

A sneak preview of the theme song for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

De Ghuma Ke by Shankar Ehsaan Loy

Dec 29, 2010

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to compose official ICC CWC 2011 song

The ICC on Wednesday announced details of the official ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 song De Ghumaa Ke which has been composed by the Indian musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Regarded as one of the most popular and critically acclaimed music directors of Bollywood, the trio has created an upbeat song, with versions in Hindi, Bangla and Sinhalese that will feature in the build-up to and during the tournament that will run from 19 February-2 April 2011 in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

The trio are one of the most popular and critically acclaimed music directors of Bollywood. Some of their famous works includes scores for movies such as Mission Kashmir (2000), Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Aalavandhan (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Bunty Aur Babli (2005), Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Don - The Chase Begins Again (2006), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Rock on!! (2008), Yavarum Nalam (2009), Wake Up Sid (2009), My Name is Khan (2010), Karthik Calling Karthik (2010) and Housefull (2010).

De Ghumaa Ke is a passionate expression that creatively captures the fierce sense of competition and the desire to win. It literally means Hit It Hard. This local cricket euphemism is every fan's wish and every cricketer's intention. It encapsulates all that it takes to win a match.

Mahadevan, looking ahead at the song, said: "To be able to reach out to millions of cricket fans from all across the world who are so passionate about the game through our song is an incredible feeling. What's more incredible is to have people sing and dance to our song and be able to watch them enjoying themselves so immensely."

Noorani commented: "I am honoured that a campaign of this magnitude was brought to us and that we were given the platform to create a song not only for India but for our neighbouring countries as well."

Mendonsa was equally excited when he remarked: "The process of creating the song was a lot of fun. It's lovely to bring a song to a multitude of cricket lovers who think, love and live cricket."

Each member of the trio has brought to the group his own unique talent and experience, combining the Carnatic and Hindustani vocal tradition (Shankar), Western Rock (Ehsaan) and a deep understanding of fusion including a virtual mastery over the Electronic Synthesizer (Loy).

The song will be released on 31 December via various radio networks in India and also on ESPN STAR Sports, the ICC's global production and broadcast rights holder. Details on how fans can access the song will be announced in due course.

Source - ICC

Jayasuriya lasts three balls, but Bloomfield win

Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya failed to score but his club Bloomfield managed to beat Ragama CC by 15 runs in the Premier Limited Over tournament Tier A match played at Bloomfield Grounds in Colombo today.

The 41 year old cricket star turned politician who is now a government member of parliament did not do much good for his widely publicized cause to secure a place in Sri Lanka’s squad for next year’s World Cup when he lasted just three balls before being adjudged lbw to medium pacer Kaushalya Weeraratne in the fifth ball of the first over of the Bloomfield innings.

However Sri Lanka player Chamara Silva smashed an unbeaten 81 in 98 balls with one six and five boundaries to guide the home side to victory on Duckworth Lewis method, ably aided by Sri Lanka team discard Chinthaka Jayasinghe who blasted seven sixes and three fours in making a hurricane 94 off 86 balls. Silva and Jayasinghe added 148 for the sixth wicket before Jayasinghe was dismissed, but Silva and Sanjaya Gangodawila ensured Bloomfield victory when they reached 267 for 6 in 46.1 overs in reply to 285 for nine made by Ragama.
Opener Ian Daniel who clobbered 99 in 106 balls with three sixes and six boundaries put on 140 for the second wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne who made 78 in 105 balls with six fours to lay the foundation for Ragama’s challenging total.

Jayasuriya captured 1 for 37 in nine overs with his left arm spin.

Ragama CC 285 for 9 (Michael Vandort 20, Ian Daniel 99, Lahiru Thirimanne 78, Indika de Saram 10, Malinga Bandara 28, Suraj Randiv 3 for 68)

Bloomfield 267 for 6 in 46.1 overs (Dilshan Munaweera 30, Saman Jayantha 10, Chamara Silva 81 n.o., Chinthaka Jayasinghe 94, Sanjaya Gangodawila 24 n.o., Kaushalya Weeraratne 3 for 43, Madura Lakmal 2 for 48)

Source - Daily Mirror

Dec 28, 2010

Sanath, Murali among greatest

Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has named two Sri Lankan veterans Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan as candidates to form the greatest One Day International team of all time.

Dashing left hander Jayasuriya and legendary off spinner Muralitharan both members of the 30 members World Cup squad are slotted in the opening and spin category respectively to form the greatest One Day International team of all time.

The other Sri Lankan players who are included in the list of players are Aravinda de Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Chaminda Vaas.

The International Cricket Council's official website is asking supporters from across the globe to select their choice of the greatest One Day International match and team of all-time to mark the 40th anniversary of ODI cricket.

In his Greatest ODI Team of All Time, Lloyd believed quite a few West Indies players would make the cut. "Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall, would be some of the contenders for sure."

Lloyd named some of the candidates for the team: Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralidaran, Daniel Vettori, Sanath Jayasuriya, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Javed Miandad, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist and Wasim Akram. "I would love to lead a side like this. It will be dream come true. If I cannot lead, then there is no one better than Imran Khan for the job,"

As ODI cricket celebrates its 40th anniversary in January 2011, Lloyd went down memory lane about his side which is rated the best ever in cricket history.

"I think the approach we had, showed the way. We played quite a few shots and enjoyed our cricket. I am sure some of the teams picked it up from there. Sri Lanka certainly did with Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana in 1996.

'It was our thinking that shots must be played and the paying public must be entertained. That is the reason the crowds enjoy watching one-day cricket," said Lloyd.

Lloyd acknowledged that one-day cricket has changed quite a lot since his time at least in terms of batting.

"At least now they are playing a lot more shots. Now they innovate a lot. You have the Dilscooop, the reverse sweep, slog sweep and a lot more. That's what crowds want, entertainment. All this makes one-day cricket exciting," added Lloyd.

Lloyd calls one-day cricket the greatest innovation for the sport.

He was part of the early years of the format in the 1960s in England when it was played on Sunday afternoons between a select side called International Cavaliers and retired and current county cricketers.

"Whoever thought this format up deserves credit. As the craze grew everybody realised it was a bonanza. It started off as a 40-over game, went to 60 overs and we even played 55 overs a side in county cricket. It (ODIs) has improved the standards of fielding, raised tactical awareness and also brought in innovation."

Lloyd was also part of the other key moment in history when World Series Cricket (WSC) brought in new things like day-night cricket, white ball and coloured clothing in the late 1970s. "We have to thank Kerry Packer for these things.

He was instrumental for that. We owe him a great debt of gratitude," said Lloyd.

So dominant was Lloyd's side in that era that it made the final of the first three ICC Cricket World Cups with absolute ease and even won two of those editions (1975, 1979).

Source - Daily News

Dec 27, 2010

Ricky Ponting fined for ICC Code of Conduct breach

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 40 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of breaching the ICC's Code of Conduct during the Boxing Day Test against England in Melbourne on Monday.

Ponting was charged with a Level 1 offence under article 2.1.3 (h) of the code which relates to "arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision".

Ponting pleaded guilty to the charge and as such, under the provisions of the code, the matter was determined by Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referee without the need for a full hearing.

The match referee imposed a fine equivalent to 40 per cent of the player's match fee.

The charge was brought by on-field umpires Aleem Dar and Tony Hill, third umpire Marais Erasmus, all from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.

Explaining his decision, Mr Madugalle said: "Ricky's actions as captain of his country were unacceptable. A captain is expected to set the example and not get involved in a prolonged discussion with the on-field umpires and question their decision.

"While pleading guilty to the charge, Ricky understood that the discussion went far too long. He apologised for his action and stated that he has nothing but respect for the umpires and his on-field actions were not intended to show disrespect to Aleem Dar or Tony Hill."

Offences included in Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct can range from an official reprimand up to 50 per cent of his or her match fee. The full text of the code can be found at Here

Source - ICC

Club Premier L/O matches begin tomorrow

By M Naushad Amit

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Inter-Club Premier Limited Over (L/O)) cricket tournament, which had to be postponed twice due to the unexpected heavy rains during the last couple of months, will begin tomorrow (December 27).

However after three weeks of sunshine, Colombo and the suburbs are experiencing overcast conditions again just days away from the commencement of the Premier L/O cricket season. Ravi de Silva, the Chairman, Tournament Committee of SLC expressing his views on the twice postponed domestic cricket tournament told The Nation that the organisers are keen to proceed with the competition despite the unpredictable weather.

“The Premier L/O tournament was expected to begin in the first week of December but the weather conditions then prevented the commencement of the competition. We were compelled to postpone the tournament by two weeks but the ground conditions of few venues were not up to the standards we expected. The weather looked fine for the next few weeks but during the past few days the rains came down again to hamper the proceedings”.

“As at present the weather is not really supportive for cricket but we are really keen to go ahead with the tournament. We have no intention to postpone or delay the tournament for any reason now as we find it difficult to adjust with the timing left for the ICC Cricket World Cup which is also to be held in Sri Lanka as a co-host nation,” de Silva said.

With the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka cut short soon after a washed out 3-match Test series and a re-scheduled five-match One Day International series for January 2011 the much anticipated tournament which is the top in the club cricket calendar of SLC is expected to serve as a platform for Sri Lanka’s national cricketers’ preparations prior to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup in February 2011 as well.

This year’s Premier L/O tournament will proceed at a rapid pace in order to give room for the all important Inter-Provincial L/O tournament and the re-scheduled ODI series of the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka which will be played during the fourth week of January. The domestic tournament which begins tomorrow will end by January 9 with the finals of Tier ‘A’ and ‘B’ at unconfirmed venues in Colombo. The matches of Tier ‘A’ and ‘B’ are planned to a tight schedule with players finding hardly a space to breathe in-between.

“Before planning the L/O and League tournaments for the 2010/11 season we coordinated with the local Meteorology Department and studied its reports of the past five years. According to the survey never in history has Sri Lanka experienced a rainy season during this time of the year namely the first half of December. The tournaments were planned after carefully studying the weather patterns as it had to be completed before the ICC Cricket World Cup deadline. As at now it will be difficult to re-schedule the whole tournament again because of the current weather scenario. The competition has to go on despite whatever Mother Nature has in store for us,” de Silva added.

This year’s Premier L/O tournament will consist of 51 matches in two segments. The tournament will kick off with defending Premier L/O champions Tamil Union taking on the League champs and last season’s L/O runners-up Chilaw Marians at P Sara Oval with four other matches in Tier ‘A’ to be played in Colombo. Four Tier ‘B’ matches will also be played tomorrow.

Premier Tier A

Group A: Tamil Union, Chilaw Marians, CCC, NCC, Badureliya CC, Lankan CC
Group B: SSC, Colts, Bloomfield, Ragama CC, Saracens


Dec 27Tamil Union v Chilaw MariansP Sara Oval
Lankan CC v Badureliya CCMoratuwa
Colts v SSCColts
Ragama CC v BloomfieldThurstan Complex
Dec 30CCC v Tamil UnionCCC
Chilaw Marians v Lankan CCKatunayake
Badureliya CC v NCCNCC
Bloomfield v SSCSSC
Saracens v ColtsColts
Dec 31NCC v Tamil UnionNCC
Badureliya CC v Chilaw MariansPanadura
CCC v Lankan CCCCC
SSC v Ragama CCSSC
Saracens v BloomfieldReid Avenue
JAN 02Tamil Union v Lankan CCP Sara Oval
CCC v Badureliya CCCCC
NCC v Chilaw MariansNCC
SSC v SaracensSSC
Colts v Ragama CCColts
JAN 04Tamil Union v Badureliya CCP Sara Oval
Chilaw Marians v CCCKatunayake
Lankan CC v NCCNCC
Bloomfield v ColtsReid Avenue
Ragama CC v SaracensThurstan Complex


Jan 6: Winner of Group A v Runner-up of Group B
Jan 7: Winner of Group B v Runner-up of Group A

Final: Jan 9

Premier Tier B

Group A: Panadura SC, Police SC, Air Force SC, Navy SC, Moors SC
Group B: Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CC, BRC, Singha SC, Antonian SC, Army SC


Dec 27Police SC v Panadura SCPolice Park
Navy SC v Air Force SCWelisara
BRC v Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CCBRC
Antonian SC v Singha SCKadirana
Dec 30Panadura SC v Air Force SCPanadura
Moors SC v Police SCBraybrooke Place
Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CC v Singha SCThurstan Complex
Dec 31Singha SC v Army SCPanagoda
Panadura SC v Navy SCWelisara
Air Force SC v Moors SCBraybrooke Place
Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CC v Antonian SCThurstan Complex
JAN 02Moors SC v Panadura SCBraybrooke Place
Police SC v Navy SCPolice Park
Army SC v Seeduwa/Raddoluwa CCPanagoda
Antonian SC v BRCBRC
JAN 04Air Force SC v Police SCRifle Green
Navy SC v Moors SCWelisara
Singha SC v BRCBRC
Army SC v Antonian SCPanagoda


Jan 6: Winner of Group A v Runner-up of Group B
Jan 7: Winner of Group B v Runner-up of Group A

Final: Jan 9

Source - Click Here

Dec 26, 2010

Sri Lanka ready for any opposition - Law

Sri Lanka Assistant Coach Stuart Law says that despite the postponement of the five-match ODI series against the West Indies last month due to adverse weather conditions, Kumar Sangakkara’s team is on course to make a serious statement at next year’s World Cup. In an interview with Jatila Karawita, Queenslander, Law, 42, who still has a year to go on his two-year contract with the SLC, said that the current Sri Lanka team was equipped to face any strong opposition. He opined that taking over the post of assistant coach of Sri Lanka in November 2009 was a turning point in his professional career, and was optimistic of his charges making their presence felt being one of the co-hosts of the 2011 World Cup.

You were a member of the 1996 Australian World Cup losing team to Sri Lanka in the final. Now, you have assumed the post of assistant coach of Sri Lanka. How do you look at this transformation in your career?
Actually this was something that I really knew nothing about until it was thrust upon me. I was still playing county cricket a year-and-a-half ago and it was cut short unexpectedly and basically I was hovering around not really doing too much trying to find out what I wanted to do. All that time I was concentrating on trying to play, and when this opportunity arose my management team rang me and told that there was a vacancy in Sri Lanka and what I thought. And I also had enjoyed watching Sri Lanka playing over the years and saw this as an opportunity to explore a career in coaching and when it was laid out on the table it was too tempting to resist.

How do you compare the class of 1996 with the class of 2010?

You could compare eras all you like. And that is the way it is done. To me one day cricket has changed since 96, it is all about fitness and power game now. The all around ability of most players in the current squad is something which Sri Lanka did not have back in 96, but then that team had a batting line up that was a class act. You can’t say anything about that team because they lifted the World Cup. Let’s just see how these guys perform. Let’s not always look back. What happened in 96 was brilliant. But, since then we’ve made a final, but we haven’t quite got across the line through one reason or another. But, this next tournament, we are backing our players to go out there, perform on the big stage, not fear any opposition and make sure we come out of it with some silverware. Don’t always want to be looking back and saying yes they were the great team of 96. That’s brilliant what they achieved back then and hats off to them. But, let’s look at these young kids, let’s make them the next great warriors of Sri Lankan cricket to go out there and win the World Cup. And then you could probably compare the eras and whatever.

What sort of an effect would the postponement of the five-match ODI series against the West Indies last November would have on Sri Lanka’s chances at the World Cup?

It would have been nice to play and it would have given the selectors more clarity in choosing their combinations. If you talk to Trevor Bayliss or me we are pretty settled, in which we could pick a team of 15 that we think could win the World Cup, if not come close to it. The final 15 that is going to be picked, there are going to be some players who will be unfortunate to miss out, but because it is played at home we are picking the combinations that we think will do the job against the best teams in the world. It wasn’t great when the series got disrupted, but, they are due to come back in end of January and early February for a revised short series and that should enhance our preparations. Furthermore the players also have some domestic club and provincial limited overs cricket lined up and cricket wise I don’t think boys will have anything to complain about between now and the start of the World Cup.

What is your take on the new venues for the 2011 World Cup in Sri Lanka?

When these stadiums are built they will actually be magnificent stadiums for international cricket.
Pallekele Stadium in Kandy looks like a quite a picturesque venue... having being there for the third Test-match against the West Indies early this month.
So are the Kettarama Stadium in Colombo and the Sooriyaweva Stadium in Hambantota. Yes we are still unsure how the floodlights or the dew will affect those batting second in day night games. But, we are hoping that between now and the start of the World Cup by playing some domestic cricket we should be able to get some kind of indication as to how those pitches will behave and prepare accordingly. So fingers crossed we hope for the best.

In other words you are confident Sri Lanka will be equipped to face up to any eventuality at the three venues come the World Cup?

It is not so much the surface it is more the atmospheric conditions. The three venues are situated at some of the most humid and arid zones of Sri Lanka. And those coming from places like England and South Africa will find it difficult to cope with the conditions. But, wickets in general in the sub continent are ideal for one day internationals especially for batting and I guess the grounds in Sri Lanka will not be an exception.

Who would be the favourites for the 2011 World Cup in your estimation?

India has become a true powerhouse in world cricket and as one of the major co-hosts will be there or thereabouts and Bangladesh cannot to be written off either as underdogs anymore, considering their giant-killing performances in the last World Cup in the West Indies. And you can’t underestimate Pakistan also because if you do that it will be at your peril. But, I believe that Sri Lanka is on course to make a serious impact at the upcoming World Cup. If we get through the initial rounds, we’ve got the quarter finals and semi finals here and if we get into the final it will be Wankade Stadium in Mumbai which will be another home away from home for us. It really turns there from my experience of having played in Mumbai a bit. I think any of the four sub-continent teams are quite capable of going all the way. Among the rest we need to watch out for South Africa and England as both have decent records in this part of the world.

What is really the reason for cotton wooling Lasith Malinga from Test cricket?

You could say that he has been put in cotton wool, but I think it is more injury management as far as Malinga is concerned. He did suffer a career-threatening injury a couple of years ago and every time he gets pain in that area he shows the tendency to break down during games. He wants to play for Sri Lanka there is no doubt about that as I know it for a fact, being the assistant coach. Whether Test cricket is the ideal format is for a bowler like him is the question considering because of the intensity and the wickets here are virtual graveyards for faster bowlers. To put his body through that much stress day in and day out and to then combine that with 50-over cricket and T-20 cricket it would be probably ridiculous for him to put himself through such a grindstone. He is one of our strike weapons and a national treasure and one of the most potent weapons very unorthodox and if we don’t look after him well we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves in the long term.

How do you look at the captaincy of Kumar Sangakkara?

He is a very intelligent man and he has his own thoughts and his own ideas as a captain has to. He seeks the advice of the coaches more often than not as any skipper would do but you’ve got to have your own ideas and go with your gut feeling. It is also a tough job especially here in Sri Lanka where you have to contend with the views of not only the cricket fraternity but the public fraternity as well. He is a great fellow he works extremely hard and is a true leader of men with his work ethic which is second to none.

Source - Click Here

Bayliss has no complaints about Cup preparations

Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss says that the prevalent inclement weather in the country would not be an impediment as his charges prepare to make do with domestic cricket commencing from Dec 27 (Monday).
Speaking to LAKBIMAnEWS from his native Australia where he is holidaying due to the Christmas and New Year vacation Bayliss stated that he was content with the local tournaments lined up for the players ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“We can’t do much with the weather and make do with what’s available to us,”
he said.
“These boys are experienced enough to prepare as best as they could and I have no grouse even if the rains were to mar a few of the games here and there.”
The Australian added that there was no use in moaning the loss of international cricket despite the postponement of the five-match ODI series against the West Indies last November due to fickle weather.
“We have to look to the New Year and the World Cup approaching and the boys are currently doing gym work as well and I am satisfied with the programmes lined up for them.”

Source - Click Here

Dec 23, 2010

Pepsi signs Dilshan and Malinga

by Rex Clementine

Pepsi’s brand ambassadors Tillekeratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga pose for photographs after their association with Pepsi was announced. (Pic by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

Pepsi Cola, a leading carbonated soft drink announced its tie-up up with leading Sri Lankan cricketers Tillekeratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday.

Dilshan, a dynamic opening batsman has been in outstanding form in all forms of the game since May 2009, while Lasith Malinga has been a key component of the Sri Lankan bowling attack and notably claimed a hat-trick in the last World Cup in the Caribbean.

Both players will be promoting the product prior to the ICC Cricket World Cup. Along with Pepsi, LG, Reliance, Hero Honda, Emirates, Yahoo, Reebok, Castrol and Money Gram are the other sponsors of the ICC.

Pepsi also announced that they will be kicking off their World Cup promotion campaign from January. "We went to India to shoot the commercial and it looks very exciting. It’s coming in January and we are excited to see it," Dilshan said speaking to journalists.

Kunal Sharma, Country Manager of Pepsi Sri Lanka said that the reason to choose Dilshan and Malinga as their brand ambassadors was because they were dynamic cricketers. Sharma also revealed that Pepsi will introduce its new logo from January 2011.

The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy that’s on a tour of Sri Lanka currently was also brought for the function.


The Cola Wars
The two popular soft drinks brands in the world, Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola have been involved in some interesting battles to promote their brands and at times cricket has been effectively used to promote their products. Although Pepsi-Cola is currently an official sponsor for the Cricket World Cup, the last time the World Cup was played in the sub-continent it was Coke who had signed up as the official sponsor.

However, Pepsi had several leading Indian players like Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Vinod Kambli on board as brand ambassadors and cleverly but perhaps unethically promoted their product although Coke was the official sponsor.

Coke’s slogan during the World Cup was, ‘The Official Drink of the Cricket World Cup’. Pepsi responded by having their own slogan, ‘Pepsi - Nothing Official About It.’

As Coke was an Official Sponsor, during the drinks break, the Coke trolley used to come out, but the Indian players who were contracted with Pepsi refrained from going anywhere close to it. While doing so, they may have forgotten that it’s just not cricket!

After the fiasco, the International Cricket Council had to introduce the Ambush Marketing Clause for players’ contracts to protect its sponsors. Strangely, Pepsi is one of the beneficiaries of the clause although they were involved in ambush marketing during the 1996 tournament. (RC)

Source - Click here

Dec 21, 2010

Shane Shillingford's bowling action found to be illegal

The International Cricket Council today confirmed that an independent test had found the bowling action of the West Indies' off-spinner Shane Shillingford to be illegal and, as such, the player has been suspended from bowling in international cricket.

A comprehensive analysis revealed that his mean elbow extension was 17 degrees which is above the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the relevant regulations.

Shillingford can now apply for re-assessment of his action after he has modified is bowling action in accordance with clause 2.4 of the regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions.

The independent analysis was performed by Prof. Bruce Elliott, member of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists, at the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth on 9 December.

Shillingford was reported after the end of the Galle Test against Sri Lanka last month by on-field umpires Steve Davis of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Richard Kettleborough of the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires, along with TV umpire Asad Rauf, also from the elite panel, and fourth umpire Tyron Wijewardena.

The 27-year-old from Dominica has the right to appeal against UWA's conclusions to the Bowling Review Group, in accordance with clause 2.3 of the regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions. Should he choose to appeal, he must lodge written notification with the ICC within 14 days of receiving the report.

The regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions can be found at:  here

Source :- ICC

Dec 19, 2010

Law ready to coach Sri Lanka

Assistant Coach of the Sri Lanka team, former Australia cap Stuart Law says that he is willing to step into the shoes of outgoing head coach and compatriot Trevor Bayliss, if Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) offers him the position, post 2011 World Cup.

“Yes, if an offer is made very definitely, I am willing to consider it. It would also be an opportunity that would be very hard to turn down, and there is no reason to ignore such a career-enhancing offer.”

Law, 42, who joined the Sri Lanka team as its assistant coach in November 2009, succeeding Englishman Paul Farbrace, said that Bayliss had already proved his credentials as a top notch coach in world cricket.

"Trevor (Bayliss) is one of the top rated coaches going in the world game, and what he has achieved during the past four years with Sri Lanka is testimony to his skills as an international coach."

“You take his stats with Sri Lanka since 2006, and you can see that Sri Lanka has won a lot of series against some of the top teams in world cricket be it in Tests or ODIs, and his record compared to some of the others who have coached Sri Lanka previously is tremendous.”

“I know that Trevor desperately wants to get back home to be with his son who is now of school going age and he too misses his family and therefore has made a decision to head to Australia.”

Law stated that there comes a time when a person would feel that enough is enough and that he would understand the stance taken by Bayliss to head Down Under, upon the completion of the 2011 World Cup in the sub continent.

“May be you can’t take it down too much further, and so he has made his decision known to SLC and for their part if Sri Lanka Cricket is willing to talk to me on taking over the post, I am more than willing to consider it.”

Asked whether he would be ready to be deputy to any other coach, the Sri Lanka assistant coach commented that he would have no grouse but throw in his lot with whomever SLC chooses to replace Bayliss with.

“If that is the way Sri Lanka Cricket is prepared to go, then I am not going to have my nose put out of joint,”
added the ex-Australian batsman who won a solitary Test cap against Sri Lanka at Perth in the 1995-96 season in addition to winning 54 ODI caps during a chequered career.

“I too like to have a crack at coaching a team myself one day, and from the modern game I am not too far removed as I only stopped playing cricket only a year and half ago, and if they choose to go with someone else I am comfortable with that too.”

Head coach Trevor Bayliss, 47, announced during Sri Lanka’s three-match ODI series against Australia in Australia last November that he would be quitting his post at the end of next year’s World Cup to be jointly organized by Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

Source - Click Here

No Bangladesh series ahead of World Cup

Sri Lanka’s selectors will have to finalise their World Cup squad of 15 without having an opportunity to look at international cricket after Sri Lanka Cricket’s efforts to play a short series with Bangladesh did not realise. Sri Lanka Cricket sources said that the board decided against playing the series as they felt that with the domestic one-day competition on during the same period, playing another international series would be too much and such a ploy would expose players to injuries. This means the national selection panel headed by Aravinda de Silva will have to select country’s World Cup squad without seeing how some of the fringe players will perform against an international opposition.

"The board is trying to see whether they can arrange a series with Bangladesh if possible and if that doesn’t come through, we just have to take the risk and go with our gut feeling," de Silva told journalists at a media briefing on Tuesday (Dec. 14) at SLC headquarters at Maitland Place after the selectors named a probable pool of 30 for the World Cup.

The final date to submit the squad of 15 players to the International Cricket Council is 19th of January, 2011. After the five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and West Indies got postponed, there are serious concerns about Sri Lanka’s preparation ahead of the World Cup while such a situation places the selectors also in a dilemma. The national selectors have said that they have a fair idea of ten or 11 players who should form the final World Cup squad and now they will have to look at the domestic tournament and the players’ recent form so as to select the remaining four positions.

Sri Lanka has played just three One-Day Internationals in the last six months.

Source - Click Here

Dec 18, 2010

Finger injury may rule Ponting out of the Ashes

Australia's charge towards a series-levelling victory was upset by Ricky Ponting suffering a suspected broken finger that could rule him out of the rest of the campaign. Ponting was sent for x-rays after rebounding the edge of Jonathan Trott from first slip to the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin late on the third day.

After joining his team-mates in the huddle, Ponting left the field for treatment on the little finger of his left hand. Peter Siddle said Ponting "seemed alright", but the extent of the injury won't be known until he returns from hospital. 

The WACA has become a horrible ground for Ponting, who was forced to retire hurt last year after being struck on the elbow by West Indies' Kemar Roach. His poor run in this series continued here with scores of 12 and 1, taking his total to 83 in six innings. 

Despite the pain in his hand, Ponting will be buoyed by the amazing response of his team in Perth after being out-played in the opening two Ashes fixtures. Australia need only five wickets over the next two days to level the series at 1-1 with two Tests remaining. 

Ponting last missed a Test in 2004-05 when a broken finger kept him out of the first three games of the final-frontier victory in India. Adam Gilchrist was in charge of that campaign, handing over to Ponting for the final match, which Australia lost in Mumbai. Michael Clarke, the vice-captain, will step in if Ponting can't recover for the Boxing Day Test. 

Source - Click Here

Dec 11, 2010

A cricket match played at Queen's Park Oval

West Indies vs England 2008-09, Day One, Fifth Test, Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad

There is one going on currently at the 79 year old cricket ground in Trinidad and Tobago, between the West Indies and England.

This is the place of greats - both cricketing and others. This is the land of Wesley HallBrian LaraDeryck MurrayConstantineBishopHolfordLogiePhil SimmonsDwayne Bravo and so many others I have failed to mention. It is also where fresh flavours of new West Indian hope springs from in the form of Darren BravoAdrian Barath and Lendl Simmons. Dwayne's younger sibling is a treat promised to the cricket watching world in the Brian Lara flavour.

Around the cricket field, perhaps on it, or maybe along the boundary ropes, or somewhere near the Queen's Park Oval at the very least, have also trodden CLR James and Vidiadhar Naipaul.

When you think about all that a shiver travels up and down your spine - what can you write in a blog that can do justice to the heritage of these two islands? Yet there is the thrill of trying...of exploring and learning more about the T&Ties or Titties.

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Thirty-eight years ago to the date, on March 6th, 1971, a gentleman by the name of Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, played his first innings in test cricket for India. He began with 65 runs and concluded his career with many more than that. The man ultimately scored 13 hundreds, including three double-hundreds, and 2749 runs against the West Indian teams of his era at an average of 65-and-a-half.

In the same pioneering series for India, SM Gavaskar returned to Queen's Park Oval for the final test, which was extended to six days since the series wasn't decided yet (India was leading by the match it won in which Sunny made his debut earlier at QPO). Here, in his debut series, on the same ground he had debuted a month earlier, Sunny Gavaskar scored 124 and 220, the first of a few times he did century in both innings, to ensure that India sailed away from the Caribbeans to the island of England to record its another "first" there in terms of series wins.

Sunnybhai finished the first test series of his life, which began and ended at this QPO, with a monumental effort 774 runs off just 8 innings at an average of over 154.

Brian Charles Lara played know, Brian...Lara of the 400* fame remember? The great man musta played here as a kid too!

While writing this blog today on a cricket match being played at Queen's Park Oval, I am burdened by this vast history...the cricket this ground delivered to the world through the bodies of these exalted gentlemen...the pace it unleashed in the form of Hall and Bishop.

But I see, in a small way,the West Indies team of today is in a position similar to India's in 1971 - India won its first test series in West Indies back then by winning first here and then coming back to grind out a draw over six days of play. Today, West Indies comes here leading England 1-0 to reclaim the Wisden Trophy.

West Indies last won the Wisden Trophy more than a decade ago, and have since been dominated by the Englishmen over four series.

Greater than that, it will also mark the first series win for West Indies since 2004, when they won over Bangladesh or six years since they last beat a team either on par or rated higher than itself.Cricinfo - West Indies Series

So you see, there are some parallels between the cricket matches played then, exactly 38 years ago, and the cricket match being played here today.

West Indies has been on a long journey of self-discovery. Many hands have driven their wagon, around many forks, bends and turns, each falsely heralding the end of their wanderings. Today, under the guidance of Chris Gayle and his peers, the wagon stands at a significant crossing - with five-day's worth of effort more, they could actually claim to have recovered some lost ground.

Oh yes, a cricket match is indeed being played at Queen's Park Oval today.

- - -


Briefly on the play thus far -

England have dropped Harmison and taken on two spinners - Monty and Swann - and are blooding Amjad Khan instead of Sidebottom. They reckon it is spin which will trouble. England are clearly attacking with the last of what they have.

West Indies on the other hand have dropped Benn and picked up Lendl Simmons - the man who made all those runs against the Englishmen at the start of the series in a tour game. They reckon they will grind the Englishmen out of the game with their bats - the depth of batting is significant - and their bowling is good enough to puncture the British bikers' trip.

Kevin Pietersen, having escaped an earlier poor decision via the referrals, just now falls to Hinds - clean bowled for mere double figures.

And Hinds can bat too by the way.

Shah is injured and is retired hurt.

It appears that we will have to wait then for the contest between English bowlers and West Indian batting to sense some competition.

Believe me, at the moment, it looks like a terribly one-sided affair to me - the dice is indeed loaded against one and there are only five days.

However, Captain Strauss is well on course for yet another hundred this series. Will he hold West Indies out?

West Indies will also need a good batting performance...this one's spinning.

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